The Wangari Maathai Foundation has honored two climate activists from Nigeria and Tanzania who have demonstrated a commitment to the core values that uphold the life and work of Maathai.
According to a statement by the foundation, from Tanzania, Hellena Sailas, worked to reduce and solve environmental problems caused by plastic waste.
“She founded the Arena Recycling Industry, a social enterprise that recycles plastic waste into Eco-friendly building materials for the construction of affordable houses, toilets and other buildings in rural areas,” the statement read.
“Toluwalase Abiona a 23-year-old climate activist who lives in Osun State, Nigeria, founded the Zero Plastic Straw Community to save the Ocean and the planet through behavioral change and environmental education.”
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During the event marking Wangari Maathai Day, the Nobel prize winner’s daughter Wanjira Maathai said her mother was always ahead of the world, as she understood how crucial the environment was.
“To her, everything comes from a healthy environment. She used to say, ‘the environment is our life support system,’ and this has been manifested in her enduring legacy that continues to impact people across the globe. We must fight the good fight. We must stay on the course, and we must finish the race,” she said.
“Her spirit of knowledge, understanding, courage, wisdom, and compassion she had for the world propelled her to constant and perpetual action,” said Njeri Kabeberi, the Foundation’s CEO.
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